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Feds Decline Comment On DA’s Rim Fire Assertion

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GROVELAND, CA - AUGUST 24:  Firefighters douse a spot fire as they battle the Rim Fire on August 24, 2013 in Groveland, California. The Rim Fire continues to burn out of control and threatens 4,500 homes outside of Yosemite National Park. Over 2,000 firefighters are battling the blaze that has entered a section of Yosemite National Park and is currently 5 percent contained.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

GROVELAND, CA – AUGUST 24: Firefighters douse a spot fire as they battle the Rim Fire on August 24, 2013 in Groveland, California. The Rim Fire continues to burn out of control and threatens 4,500 homes outside of Yosemite National Park. Over 2,000 firefighters are battling the blaze that has entered a section of Yosemite National Park and is currently 5 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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SONORA, Calif. (AP) — Federal prosecutors have declined to address a district attorney’s claim that they intend to prosecute the hunter who allegedly started the Rim Fire that raged through Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Foothills.

Tuolumne County District Attorney Michael Knowles said in a statement on Thursday that federal prosecutors have privately declared their intention to prosecute the hunter. The hunter has not been identified.

The statement went on to say that the people of Tuolumne County and county prosecutors were awaiting “just conclusion” in the federal system.

Mary Wenger, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento, said on Friday she could neither confirm nor deny Knowles’s assertion.

The Rim Fire began on Aug. 17 and burned 400 square miles.

State officials have estimated damages exceeded $54 million.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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